North Carolina’s Trespass Law: A Call for Exemption

Understanding North Carolina’s New Trespassing Law

North Carolina State flag
  • Overview of the Legislation North Carolina recently updated G. S. 14-159.13, making it a crime to enter someone’s property without permission between midnight and 6:00 A.M. even if the property is not posted with a “no trespassing” sign. This law aims to increase privacy and security for property owners. However, it raises concerns for professionals who require nighttime access to perform their duties effectively, particularly licensed private investigators.
  • Legal Implications for Professionals This new legislation does not offer exemptions for licensed private investigators, a decision that could significantly hinder their ability to conduct thorough investigations. Given the nature of private investigative work, which often necessitates discreet observation and gathering evidence during hours when subjects are less vigilant, this law could impede the collection of crucial information for both criminal defense and civil investigations.

The Impact on Licensed Private Investigators

  • Challenges in Conducting Investigations Licensed private investigators in North Carolina now face legal barriers that could compromise their work’s integrity and effectiveness. Investigations involving surveillance and gathering evidence in fraud, infidelity, or criminal defense cases may be negatively impacted, as investigators must avoid crucial nighttime hours.
  • Potential Solutions and Workarounds While the new law presents significant challenges, private investigators may need to adapt by seeking explicit permissions, leveraging technology for remote surveillance, or restructuring their investigation methods to comply with legal restrictions. However, these adaptations may not always be feasible or effective, underscoring the need for an exemption.

Advocating for an Exemption: Why It Matters

  • The Case for a Licensed Private Investigators Exemption Advocating for an exemption for licensed private investigators is crucial for maintaining the effectiveness of private investigations in North Carolina. Such an exemption would recognize the professional and ethical standards licensed investigators adhere to, ensuring they can conduct necessary surveillance and investigations without inadvertently breaking the law. Further, private investigators must abide by existing regulations and laws related to their profession, and the general public may file complaints with the Private Protective Services Board if they feel it necessary. This board has the power to discipline licensed private investigators and does so.
  • How to Support the Exemption Movement Support for this cause can come from various fronts, including petitions, engaging with legislators, and public awareness campaigns. The private investigations industry, legal professionals, and the public must collaborate to advocate for a balanced approach that protects property rights while allowing licensed investigators to perform their critical role in the justice system.

Call to Action:

Are you concerned about how North Carolina’s new trespassing law affects your ability to obtain crucial evidence for your cases? Join us in advocating for an exemption for licensed private investigators. Contact your State legislator today and share why this exemption is vital for justice and professional investigative work.